Taking the plunge
13 February, 2010: Day 42
With the newfound motivation from reaching the halfway mark, my competitive nature had me finally overcome my fear of taking the plunge and jumping back in the water to check for growth. I wanted to be certain that the boat is performing as efficiently as possible by redistributing the weight and, now, by making sure barnacles are not slowing me down.
With no sharks in sight, I jumped in and quickly realized how much I am missing out on being above water. No dolphins or sea turtles, but plenty of colorful fish, especially dorados. These light blue fish weigh about twenty pounds and frequently jump several feet above the surface. And the number of small fish living under my boat seems to be growing in size and number with about twenty small guys nestled right next to the boat.
On my mission to find barnacles, I found a few spots with growth. It certainly would have been better to check on a calmer day as it was awkward being hit with waves but, within twenty minutes, the boat was smooth and ready to row.
But I wasn’t.
I must have been snorkeling around the boat for at least an hour, maybe two. There were just too many friendly fish to distract me! At one point there were about twenty dorados that swam pass. They certainly did not seem to be in any hurry, almost like they were swimming in slow motion. Regardless, it was definitely a good reminder of all the life happening under my boat.
Well, that’s enough about what’s going on underneath me. Now it’s time for a little bit about the things in my boat that I haven’t mentioned much yet:
Packed items rarely or never used
• Para-anchor (I use this if I am being blown eastward to minimize backward progress. Trade winds and currents have not pushed me east yet)
• Handheld watermaker (Main one works perfectly but, if it fails, it will take two hours to pump water with the handheld one)
• Most of the tool kit
• Most of the extensive medical kit
• Handheld VHF (Use main instead)
• Solar shower (Used once! Want to make sure I have enough energy for water and electronics first)
• Steering cable for toe steering and steering line for hand steering
• Waterproof camera died. Worked fantastically up until that one day it didn’t. Luckily I have a waterproof camcorder that can take photos too
• Satellite phone is, shall I say, moody. It has its moments
• Jetboil stove after dropping it in seawater. Oops.
• Otterbox music case. Still impressive as I would occasionally leave it in the cockpit overnight constantly exposed to water.
And, the numero uno (listening to Spanish audio out here, too!) question seems to about my food of choice upon arrival. My food cravings have been a bit odd and the one thing I keep thinking about is wheat grass. A shot of freshly juiced wheat grass! A detox may be in order. But, really, any fresh fruit or veggie sounds very nice right now.
Or in a month.
From Katie:In January, I embarked on a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean! After 2,500 miles and 70-100 days alone at sea, I will become the youngest person ever to row an ocean solo and the first American to row from Africa to South America. But this row is about something much more important: safe drinking water. Unsafe drinking water is the leading cause of sickness, disease and death worldwide ― but it's a problem that, working together, we can solve. To join me in helping the billion people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water, click here.